Date: Tuesday, July 26
Distance: 133.6 km
After an insane finale to stage 2, stage 3 looks like it will be another exciting one. With five classified climbs, it’s likely a breakaway will go early containing anyone hoping to don polka dots, but the final 16 km is challenging enough that there will be some interesting time gaps at the finish. Even if the stage goes to a breakaway, the GC riders will start testing each other on the penultimate and final climbs.
With 16 km to go, after already completing two relatively short climbs, 29 km earlier, the peloton will hit the Côte de Mutigny. A 900-meter climb with a 12.1% average grade. Some 13 km later is Mont Bernon, a 1 km long climb that averages 4.6 %. It tops out nearly 3.5 km from the finish.
The two consecutive climbs offer an opportunity to second-tier GC favourites like Elisa Longo Borghini and Kasia Niewiadoma. Riders who are expert descenders and love a short punchy effort. To make things a little more interesting the race is offering bonus seconds at the top of Mont Bernon.
Once again the peloton will see the finish 20 km before they eventually race for the line. When they do eventually race for the stage victory they will navigate a few roundabouts in Épernay. The final kilometre includes two roundabouts.
Who will win stage 3?
The finale of the stage suits a select group of favourites, similar to those we saw on stage 2. Niewiadoma has been vocal about targeting the third and fourth stages, and Longo Borghini will also like the look of the final kilometres on Tuesday. Niewiadoma in particular is only 12 seconds behind Marianne Vos in the general classification and this might be her best opportunity to swipe the yellow jersey.
That being said, Vos will not be daunted by the shorter climbs. It’s not out of the question that she holds on to any selections and also holds on to yellow.
Demi Vollering might make her first appearance in the fight on stage 3. She is 45 seconds down in the general classification after stage 2 and SD Worx has not yet achieved a result.
We might also see some attacks from riders who lost significant time due to the crashes on stage 2, like Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Grace Brown.